Money20/20 has become perhaps the biggest financial technology conference in the country. Since 2011, its transformed from a a niche, industry conference into a large-scale cultural touchstone; major mainstream news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times cover it, and the speaker list includes luminaries such as Richard Branson.
As a financial marketer, of course it is imperative that you participate in some way at this event. But how can you make the most out of it? Money20/20 can be overwhelming, combining a jam-packed agenda with non-stop networking opportunities and after parties, all set to the neon backdrop of the Las Vegas Strip. And how do you do really know what kind of ROI you’ve gotten on your exhibition hall booth, or that silver sponsorship? Don’t fret, we’re here to help with this quick and handy guide to getting the most out of Money20/20.
Sounds simple, but this is often something that falls to the bottom of the to do list before any event. Figure out first what you want to get out of the conference. Is it completely focused on sales leads? If you’re an early stage fintech, are you looking to potentially meet investors? Are you looking for visibility, increasing brand awareness, or PR for a news announcement made during the conference? Whatever your primary goal is, identify that and build your conference plan around it, you’ll be able to approach it with open eyes and clear goals in mind.
This planning should include a list of the key people you want to meet. Figure out who those people are and aim to set up meetings beforehand; trying to do so on-site will become a logistical nightmare. This is especially true for journalists, who are always inundated with meeting requests before conferences.
Take Advantage of Digital and Social
Events like Money20/20 generate a significant amount of social media content, especially on Twitter and – to a lesser extent – LinkedIn. Twitter is where real-time conversations will be happening related to the event, so be sure to use the relevant conference hashtags (#Money2020) and join in the fray. This can lead to impromptu discussions and interactions with others at the conference, and potentially an unscheduled, valuable meeting. And after a long day of sessions and speakers, think about writing a short post to put on LinkedIn, something along the lines of “top trends I noticed at day 1 of Money20/20,” and while you’re at it, tweet that out with a link so you’re fully engaging with your current network and attendees.
Consider a digital marketing/advertising plan too; you can target those at the event and deliver marketing messages directly to them. Or send a note to your email list letting them know you’ll be there and what you’re most looking forward to. There are numerous opportunities to take advantage of digital avenues to create and nurture conversations.
Attend & Actively Participate in Networking Events
This is a great way to meet with and talk to people in a more meaningful way than shouting over the din of a crowded conference room, or so we’ve found! Money20/20 has organized several meetups around specific topics, such as regulatory compliance, blockchain and women in fintech. These offer opportunities for more targeted meetings with specific groups that pertain to your business.
Also, attending outside events is a must. Many firms host parties or gatherings after each day’s agenda is over at restaurants, bars or hotel suites. It’s your choice if you want to party until the wee hours of the morning, but a few hours of post-conference fun can help you unwind and meet some new fellow conference-goers.
Don’t Skip Workouts!
If you’re a gym person, don’t write off the conference time as “cheat days.” Going to the gym or working out can help you stay fresh, and as an added bonus you are very likely to run into other conference attendees there, which can make for a potential impromptu networking session.
Remain Top of Mind
You don’t want all the great people you met at the conference to immediately forget you afterwards. There are several ways to stay top of mind and keep the conversation going forward. For one, don’t just send generic LinkedIn invites after; rather, personalize each one, and try to reference something you discussed with that person so they can remember you above the rest of the crowd of faces from their memory. The key is personalization; make use of what you know about the people you met in whichever manner you choose to follow up with them, whether that’s a LinkedIn message, an email or a formal printed card or letter.
Also, use the information you gained for a content marketing campaign. It can be as simple as a blog detailing the key takeaways from the event, or a recap video or even podcast. A list of insights to your email list can be very effective, or even making an infographic out of some stats you learned at the conference. The possibilities are endless.
Money20/20 can be a daunting conference, but if you come in with a clear plan and a strategy, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your time and investment in attending!